Let's face it, we all do things a little bit differently, right? Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies when it comes to getting it done. Maybe it's because you never really learned "the right way" or because you found a better way. Maybe it's because you're lazy or because you're a perfectionist. Whatever the reason, I thought I'd share ten of mine.
1. I don't really use a paper trimmer that often.
I own several, but I always cut my photos with scissors. Sometimes I'll cut patterned paper with a trimmer, but mostly I'll just eyeball it and use scissors. The thing is, I'm not a particularly clean and linear scrapper, so messy edges just add to the energy of the layout for me.
2. Wow, I have a hard time with two-page layouts.
This is the last two-page layout I did that I liked:
I made that almost two years ago. And it's not particularly brilliant. For whatever reason, I have *a lot* of trouble making two pages work. It's something that I want to work on. I often have a lot of photos and run out of room on a 12x12 (which is when I go to a mini book), but I need to be better at the two-page spread.
3. I only learned to machine sew in 2006, and I'm mostly self-taught.
In fact, I only learned to iron because I wanted to quilt. I love sewing, but I don't understand almost anything technical that people say to me about "blind hem stitch" and I can never figure out issues of bias and non-bias. Blech. Life's too short for all those rules. I love to sew, and so I do - with my own little ways of getting it done.
4. I don't read instructions.
Like a man, I refuse to believe that I need instructions. Sometimes this is good and sometimes this is bad. I always try to figure it out first and then if I'm still having trouble, I go and read all the instructions. My reasoning behind this is actually quite sound: If I have fully examined the machine or program and can figure out how it works by myself, then it become intuitive to use. If I learn from the instructions, it means I always need the instructions.
5. I can't work unless I have order.
Contrary to what it may look like to my husband, I need order to work efficiently. I try to clean up between projects and really put things away. What looks like a pile of boxes is a very clever organizational system and I do know where almost everything is. Truth be told, I have a bit of an organizing fetish. I'm always trying out a new system or planning a better way to organize it all. There are many times that I pull absolutely everything out and put it all back again!
6. New technology thrills me.
I'm always ready to try out a new computer program, gadget, die cutter, machine, tool, etc. I'm an über geek when it comes to that kind of stuff and I really enjoy the challenge of figuring it out. I swung by Portrait Bug over the weekend, and when the owner saw how geeked out I was over the Slice, she handed one over for me to play with at home. I had it out of the box and charging almost as soon as I walked in the door. Love that!
7. I can't get away from story.
The art that appeals to me - theatre, visual art, music, dance - all tells a story. I can appreciate art that exists for aesthetic reasons, but I can't really get into it unless there's a story being told. So, it's no big surprise that when I sit down to create almost anything, it begins with story. What's the story that I want to tell? I'm trying to get more sophisticated about it - relying less on actual text to tell the story. Which brings me to...
8. I'm rarely satisfied.
Once I've learned a new skill or conquered a long-term project, I immediately want to move into "what's next?" I'm always striving to learn more, do it better, and generally improve. I'm constantly seeking a new challenge, a new measuring stick, a new accomplishment. I think of myself as very calm and shy and withdrawn, but the truth is that I'm pretty darn competitive and pushy - at least with myself. I know lots of other crafters who are happy to do the same thing over and over again, but I can't stand it! Like a shark, I need to keep moving in order to breathe.
9. I'm terrible about washing paintbrushes.
I clean my stamps. Usually right away. However, paint brushes tend to get dumped into a jar of water. And then they sit in that jar of water for weeks, and occasionally even months. I know this is not good for the brushes. So, I always buy quality student-grade brushes - good enough to not fall apart in the water, but not so good that it matters if I ruin them.
10. I hate to waste things.
I take great satisfaction in using scraps, using leftover ink, using packaging, etc. I keep everything! You never know when you might need it! It was a revolutionary moment when I figured out that I could donate supplies I no longer wanted. Previous to that I spent a lot of time trying to make "ugly" supplies look good instead of getting rid of them. Silly, huh? I still have trouble throwing stuff away. I mean, trends are circular - and everything old becomes new again!
What are your crafting quirks?